What’s On In The May Half Term?

Pack your diaries with fun with our May half term guide to activities in the country and in town

May half term is fast approaching: from Friday 26 May to Sunday 4 June (or thereabouts), the kids are off school and in need of entertaining. It’s always rather savvy having a few fun family activities marked in the calendar the school holidays to ensure you’re not looking at endless days that blend into each other. Here’s the C&TH guide to the best ways to keep the kids occupied this May half term.

May Half Term 2023: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet

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matilda musical shot in sevendials

Matilda at The Cambridge Theatre

In London? If you haven’t seen this musical yet, now is the time to do so. A fantastic adaptation of the Roald Dahl book, the original story is transformed into a vibrant and electric production bursting with energy. The cast is impressive, the script packed with humour and nostalgia, and you won’t be able to get the songs out of your head for weeks.

HOW? sevendials.co.uk

Studfold Farm fairy gate

Studfold’s Fairy Nature Trail 

Help youngsters learn about and respect the environment at Studfold, North Yorkshire. The 1.5 mile trail runs through wildflower meadows and ancient woodland, while youngsters solve the series of nature-related clues as they study the growing number of intricately-carved and painted fairy homes.

HOW? studfold.com

A dog sat at the table

Pawsitive Cafe

Gather the whole family – four legged friends included – at Notting Hill’s Pawsitive Cafe, where brunch treats and seasonal DIY await.

HOW? pawsitivecafe.com

Peter Pan Afternoon Tea

Peter Pan Afternoon Tea at aqua shard

Transport yourself to Neverland this May half term via aqua shard’s child-friendly afternoon tea, inspired by J.M Barrie’s legendary novel. Think Tinker Bell-shaped cookies and crocodile jellies served on a pirate ship-inspired tea stand, alongside Fairy Dust cocktails – all enjoyed alongside panoramic city views. And, for each tea sold, £2 will be donated to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

HOW? aquashard.co.uk

Visit The Eden Project

Time well spent year-round, the Eden Project is a lovely space to cart the kids in May half term. From 27 May–4 June, the Eden Project is celebrating creativity with its Festival of Imagination. Expect pop-up performances and theatre – including music, story-telling, dance and creative workshops. edenproject.com

wooden sculptures by the sea

Try A Walking Trail

Spice up your half term holiday walks by following a trail, like Emma Smith’s ‘Gwelen’ trail on the section of the South West Coast Path that connects Marazion and Penzance. Inspired by the ancient forest hidden beneath the ocean waves, the installation is accompanied by a podcast. newlynartgallery.co.uk

Image (c) Mike Newman


Gravity Wandsworth

Children will easily be entertained for a whole day at this family-friendly attraction site in Wandsworth. Set over three floors, the venue uses the latest technology to create numerous exciting game zones – from electric go-karting to a 14-lane bowling alley with augmented reality.

HOW? gravity-uk.com

sportsfish man and boy fishing

Sportfish Game Fishing Centre

Fancy some fishing? Sportfish offers courses for parents and children alike who are interested in angling. Visitors can expect a delightful day filled with fishing and education around it, while surrounded by 45 acres of Berkshire countryside.

HOW? gamefishingcentre.co.uk

snowbells spring up at Stourhead House

Stourhead House

This National Trust estate is perfect for all ages. From pram friendly (just avoid the grotto) to satisfying under 10s to teens, a walk around the utterly stunning landscape is the perfect afternoon pursuit to see the shoots of spring come through.

Bring a picnic, or have lunch at The Spread Eagle (a really gorgeous historic pub within the estate). There’s the obvious benefit of walking around within nature, but there’s plenty of art history to soak up too. Marvel at the Temple of Apollo, the house itself, and learn all about the intriguing Hoare family who lived here.

HOW? nationaltrust.org

Telling Tales, Shakespeare's Globe

Telling Tales

Storytelling is back at Shakespeare’s Globe for the May half term, with Romeo & Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the cards, alongside family workshops and guided tours. Plus, there’s a special CBeebies special adaptation of Twelfth Night running on 30 and 31 May.

HOW? shakespearesglobe.com

Children Of Clay The One-off Box

Children Of Clay

Not feeling like leaving the house? Can’t blame you, it is February after all. Order The One-off Box from Children of Clay and spend some quality time together creating a masterpiece from clay. Who knows, the kid might be an artist in the (mess) making. Subscriptions are also available if you want to keep the fun going beyond the school holidays.

HOW? childrenofclay.co.uk

The Story Museum

Visit The Story Museum

The Story Museum in Oxford makes a lovely trip for the family, with plenty of activities for a range of ages. Plus, a new exhibition is opening on 26 May entitled Brilli-ANT, featuring giant cardboard insects, designed to help children connect with the natural world and tackle climate anxiety. A range of celebrities have lent their voices to bring the insects to life, including Isy Suttie, Floella Benjamin, Julian Clary and Derek Jacobi.

HOW? storymuseum.org.uk

Tiger Lodge at Port Lymphe

Check out Port Lympne, Kent

A must-visit for animal-lovers, this Kent-based conservation charity is not your average UK wildlife experience. Whether you opt for a day visit or a short stay, you’ll come face to face with big cats, gorillas, giraffes and many more. If you really want to push the boat out, (and blow their minds in the process) book in for a stay at Tiger Lodge, where tigers play right outside your (very sturdy) windows.

HOW? aspinallfoundation.org

Forest Nets at Celtic Manor Resort, Newport

Forest Nets at Celtic Manor Resort, Newport

If you want to drag the kids away from their screens and get them playing outside, take a day trip to the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales and check out the Forest Nets, where kids can clamber through the trees bouncing on suspended nets. It is absolutely as fun as it sounds, for the young and young-at-heart alike.

HOW? celtic-manor.com

Baby Animals At Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, Norfolk

See Baby Animals At Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, Norfolk

Great Yarmouth’s Thrigby Hall Wildlife Centre is the place to be if you want to enjoy some cuteness this half term.

HOW? thrigbyhall.com

Image: Tom Jones Photography

Roseland Peninsula Walks, Cornwall

Go for a Family-Friendly Walk in Cornwall

Exploring the rugged Cornish coastline is best done away from the crowds, so autumn is the perfect time to travel south west. Make St Mawes your base and try a family-friendly walk on the Roseland Peninsula, suitable for all abilities. See our guide here.

Featured Image via Getty.